There are grave fears for young Aussie jockey Leah Kilner after the 24-year-old was seriously injured in a horror race fall in Grafton on Sunday.
The apprentice jockey was thrown from horse Stella Turn in the final straight of a race at the Clarence River Jockey Club.
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Stella Turn collapsed after appearing to suffer an injury, throwing Kilner head-first into the ground.
After receivng treatment on the track for a lengthy period, the Brisbane-based jockey was flown to Princess Alexandra Hospital where she was placed in an induced coma.
Kilner has since undergone surgery to relieve swelling on her brain.
“Apprentice jockey Leah Kilner was dislodged from her mount just prior to the winning post in Race 3 at Grafton today,” Racing NSW said in a statement.
“Leah has been airlifted to Princess Alexandria Hospital in Brisbane where she’s in an induced coma and is being treated for a possible brain injury.”
Trainer Rob Heathcote asked the racing community to “pray for her recovery”.
“She is a very sick young girl and she is in a coma since the fall,” he said in a statement.
“She is currently, as at 6pm Sunday having surgery to release the pressure on her brain.
“It is a very grave situation and we should all pray for her to come through this.
“Leah is the most beautiful young lady I have met in racing so we need to pray for her recovery.”
Horse racing world praying for Leah Kilner
The remaining six races of the meeting were postponed after Kilner’s fall, which left onlookers visibly shaken.
Kilner’s father Greg, a trainer in Grafton, was reportedly on the track while she was undergoing treatment.
Jockey Ryan Wiggins tweeted on Monday: “Leah has been put in an induced coma after an operation to relieve the pressure on her brain.
“Leah is also being assessed for spinal injuries. The Jockeys Association has reached out to her father offering assistance. Our thoughts are with Leah.”
The Mane Lodge wrote on Twitter: “Extremely tough day on course today difficult to find the right words, ultimately we hope the collective positive thoughts from the racing family give Leah Kilner the strength she needs at this time and hope it gives her family and friends some comfort that we are all behind them.”
Kilner has won 204 race since starting her career in 2017.
She had ridden in two previous races in Grafton on Sunday.
Stella Turn was euthanised shortly after the incident.
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